CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -The 90th Mallard Creek Barbecue is set to be have a MAJOR turnout Thursday.
That meant volunteers with the Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church had to be up bright and early Monday to get some of that delicious, coveted menu prepared…
…And by bright and early, we mean they had a start time of 2 a.m.
Rusty Wallace, one of the event’s organizers, says it’s not so easy to get up before the crack of dawn, but they know every year they have to get ahead of the hundreds of people that come out to enjoy the food.
“Yeah, a lot of us complain about it,” joked Wallace. “But we always show back up every year. The kicker is is that we have to get up at 2 o’clock in the morning for the stew, which is what we’re doing today.”
Wallace is talking about the church’s famous Brunswick Stew, which he says is a menu item some fans buy enough of to last for months.
“It’s actually my aunt’s Brunswick Stew recipe,” said Wallace. “And she passed that down to my dad. I was born into it. So, that’s going to be my title from here on until I can find somebody else to take over.”
Volunteers were busy this morning cutting up the ingredients for the stew: beef, chicken, a little bit of pork, corn, rice (a trade for the typical potato), tomatoes…and other special seasonings and ingredients Wallace would not tell WBTV.
“That’s a secret recipe,” said Wallace. “Great aunt would be upset.”
The cooks and grill masters will not only be preparing 2500 gallons of the famous stew, but also 14,000 pounds of barbecue and 2 tons of cole slaw.
Make no mistake, though: the volunteers have been preparing for this upcoming Thursday since last week. In fact, this past Saturday, the team did “Slaw Saturday” where they prepared a good bit of the cole slaw that’ll complement the seasoned meat.
This long-standing tradition is a significant part of the Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church history. The church was built long ago, in the early 1800s. Ninety years ago, church members started this tradition to not only help support the upkeep of the church, but also to help fund the numerous community outreach projects and missions trips the church offers.
It’s grown so much that, even with now four drive-thrus, traffic from hungry attendees is something that gets significantly backed up on the day of the event.
Consequently, Wallace says the rest of the week will also mean early days of preparation for the excited volunteers looking to feed the masses and bond as a church…all while doing God’s work.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Wallace. “It’s good fellowship but it’s all for a good cause. There’s a lot of volunteer help here. They don’t mind coming out and we have a good time.”
The 90th Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue will be held Thursday starting at 10 a.m. at 11400 Mallard Creek Road.